Stark White

I am not typically an over-tester. I usually wait until 12dpo (and I usually have my period by then…).

For some reason I tested today, at 9dpo. I didn’t use FMU… and I didn’t wait 4 hours… and I drank things in between. So yes, I know this really cheap internet test isn’t exactly reliable right now, but the stark whiteness of it still makes me sad. I don’t know why I felt the need to test today…

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Blindsided

I expected to feel somewhat sad on Mother’s Day. The pain I feel today, however, has caught me off guard.

It is only 8:30 AM on Father’s Day and my Facebook feed is already inundated with posts. For some reason, I am finding this almost harder than Mother’s Day, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s the progesterone. Back in May, I was riding out a “drug free” month…

9dpo. Too early to test, but based on this month’s stats and how I feel right now, I am not holding on to unrealistic hope. At this point, just want to move on to IVF next cycle.

I will definitely try to make today a celebration of my father instead of grief for the father that my husband has yet to become.

Not a Numbers Person

I teach Language Arts, and I direct and perform in musicals. I am not a numbers person.

A new number today: 9.3, and it represents my 5dpo progesterone level (Cd21 bloodwork even though I’m not quite Cd21). Even though I’m not a numbers person, 9.3 is less than 10… and that means progesterone. Insert loud sigh of exasperation here.

So here is what I’m having trouble understanding, and maybe some of you can shed some light. My doctor, who I like very much, sat across from me at his desk two days ago and talked to me about how well I respond to the Clomid and Ovidrel. And how there is high risk of hyperstimulating me if I do injectables because of my high ovarian reserve and high response to meds. Hubby’s SA was totally completely average when we had our baseline testing done in January.

Ok… so then why am I only ovulating one egg a month and reading about women with several gargantuan follicles, and why is my progesterone number in the toilet? And why did R only produce 3.5 million viable sperm last week?

Again… not a numbers person but it just doesn’t add up. Doctor is happy with the numbers. But I’m not! And tonight starts progesterone, which, let’s be honest, just postpones the inevitable AF witch from arriving.

So I’m a little bummed today, but I am excited to start IVF with my next cycle. And I am excited that there are only 12 days left of school. Hopefully I will be nice and rejuvenated and well rested by the time we are harvesting lots of little eggs in July!!!

3.5 Million

3.5 million

If I had 3.5 million dollars, I’d be ecstatic. 3.5 million M&Ms would be AMAZING. 3.5 million is a lot! Right?

But 3.5 million post wash sperm is another story. 3.5 million, in this case, is below average. Low, even. When it comes to sperm, the TTC woman needs to be greedy. And 3.5 million is not enough.

The doctor didn’t really say much when she saw the number. Made some sort of noise that indicated “This IUI is probably a waste of time, but you’re naked from the waist down, so may as well just go through with it…” Or that’s how I perceived it, anyway…

Later this morning, after IUI #3, R texted to see how it went. I didn’t tell him. I didn’t tell him that he didn’t give me enough strong swimmers this month for a fair shot. I didn’t send him links with lists of foods that can increase sperm count. I didn’t lecture about stress, or healthy eating, or getting enough sleep.

I simply said, “Ok. Now we wait.”

I made an appointment to talk about “next steps.” When we first began treatments I really thought meds and IUI would be enough for me. I naively thought that surely I would be pregnant by now. But I’m not just one of those people who needed a few more months, a healthy egg, and good timing. No. Infertility is a very real thing. It is scary and it is frustrating and it is unknown. And it is part of me.

Copping a Feel

Anyone who walked by my classroom today when there were no students present, may have caught me copping a feel.

Once I hit 8dpo, I start feeling myself up like crazy. I can’t help it.

It’s actually less “feeling up,” and more “giving a little poke.”  I start compulsively pushing in at the sides of my boobs.  The 8dpo and beyond “tenderness test.”

Do they feel the same as last month?  Are they more tender?  Less tender?  Is it a fuller feeling?  Are those women who say that they couldn’t even roll over on their stomachs because of nipple tenderness for real?  Why don’t my nipples feel like that?  I must not be pregnant.  Or does the lack of boob related symptoms actually mean that maybe I am? Was that a cramp near my uterus? Oh, #@!& it… I’ll just eat some ice cream.

The thing is, I don’t even know what I’m feeling for.  Do I want them to be tender, or not?!?  So, I assess the situation (poke, poke, squeeze)… and then I go back in my fertility calendar and compare the feeling I have today to every single other month at this dpo (please tell me you do this too!).  And I hope for an aberration.

Today I found one. So now I’m hanging on to this tiny thread of hope.  By 8 or 9 dpo, I am usually in PMS mode (…usually…).  Boobs are usually starting to give me my first sign of AF, but today…

i.  feel.  nothing.

And I AM SURE it means absolutely nothing.  Or maybe, the meds are lengthening my luteal phase like they are supposed to, which is a good thing.  But it’s certainly not a good indication of pregnancy.  If there is one thing that I have learned with any degree of certainty from stalking the BabyCenter forums, it is that there is no such thing as an early pregnancy symptom that you can be sure of.  There is so much variation, not just woman to woman, but from month to month within the same woman.

There just is no way of knowing until your BFP — and even then, between evap lines and non doubling beta numbers, sometimes you still don’t even really know.  I have yet to even get to that point.  I hope the big fat nothing I feel right now will at least lead me to the next level of uncertainty.  Sounds more promising than AF.  She’s a you-know-what.

1ww

Growing up, I was in a children’s theater group. We performed two full scale musical productions a year. At the start of each new show, we had auditions, which were followed by the dreaded 1 Week Wait.

It was grueling. We came from all over central jersey to participate in this group, so most of us didn’t go to the same school. The week was full of phone calls, notes (the old fashioned kind, handwritten and expertly folded into a tiny little origami triangle), and more phone calls. Now, mind you, we couldn’t actually pass the notes to one another until we saw each other the following Saturday, but there was something therapeutic about writing them. There were no online blogs back then.

So we spent the week speculating, and over analyzing (“well, I messed up the dance audition a bit, but the part I want doesn’t dance much, so I doubt it will matter…”), and praying, and wishing, and making deals with a higher power for the parts we wanted. We tried to talk ourselves down to reality, in case our dreams did not come true. But even if you knew in your heart that you weren’t going to get your dream part, you held on to hope nonetheless.

Then, the big day arrived. The waiting was finally over. Soon, you would know the outcome and there would be no turning back. The hopes you had held on to all week would either be realized or shattered. The director handed out script by script, announcing each person’s part, in turn. Some shows, your wildest dream came true and there was nothing more glorious than hearing your name attached to the leading role you had been hoping for, and seeing it written on the script in your hands. Other years, you could feel your heart sink into your stomach the moment your hopes were shattered. And then of course there was the putting on a smile and forced support for your friends who DID get the parts they wanted. It wasn’t that you weren’t happy for them, it was just that you were so devastated for yourself.

I can not help but draw parallels between that dreaded 1 week wait, and this dreaded 2 week wait. Of course now, instead of twice a year, it’s 12 times a year, and I have yet to receive good news at the end of it. Nonetheless, I always find some hope to hold on to.

At 7dpo today, I have one week to go… and I sure hope I get the part I want…

Please Don’t Call

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There is one day during each cycle on which I cross my fingers and hope NOT to hear from my doctor. Today is that day. Today is progesterone day. My doctor’s office only calls if your numbers are low and they want you to start supplements. It is 4:45 and I haven’t heard from them yet, so fingers crossed…

I’m 4 dpiui and this 2ww is soooo slow. I’m on spring break and I’m grateful for some down time, but on the other hand… (Oh, believe me; it’s not that I don’t have a mile high pile of paperwork, but you can guess my progress on that…)

I used to get nervous to have bloodwork done, but since TTC, that has obviously become a thing of the past!

To the Core!

Pineapple core, that is!

Many TTC women who have achieved their BFPs swear by pineapple core.  What is the “core,” you may ask?

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Pineapple core contains bromelain, which, from what I’ve read, acts an anti-inflammatory, blood thinner, AND it helps to produce cervical mucus.  For whatever scientific and physiological reasons bromelain helps with implantation, many women thank the pineapple core goddesses for their BFPs.  It is inexpensive, natural, and healthy, so I figure it is worth a try.  (Especially since my mother cut up a fresh pineapple last week and I tossed the core into the freezer for safe keeping.  Easy-peasy for me!).  Here is a great link that explains the whole pineapple thing much better than I have: http://conceivewithpineapple.blogspot.com/  Honestly, you can google “TTC pineapple” about a gazillion options will pop up (many of which are testimonials!).

I tried eating 1/5 of a pineapple core every day for 5 days after IUI last month.  I did not get my BFP, BUT my progesterone levels were better.  I have no idea if the pineapple helped, but it certainly didn’t hurt. So, I am trying it again.  As this point, I have detoxed from all other TTC “home remedies.”  No more fertileCM, EPO, or any other supplements.  Just following doctor’s orders, taking my meds, and eating some pineapple core. Oh, and some Brazil Nuts.  😉  What “home remedies” do you subscribe to while TTC?

 

 

Keep It Warm

Got home a little while ago from my IUI. I don’t quite know what to do with myself, but I decided to take it easy… especially in week 1.

I taught an aerobics class early this morning and then did a “baby wipe bath” in the staff room so as not to offend my poor doctor too much. :/ By the time class ended at 8:15, R had long since collected and dropped off his sample. I waited about an hour today before they took me in, which is the longest I have ever waited. Also… every woman had a toddler with her, which is usually not the case. I know this bothers some TTC women, but not me. Hopefully I will be one of those people when I’m TTC #2. But let me not get ahead of myself.

So I finally get taken into the exam room (Is it too late? Why haven’t I felt O pain? How long do sperm live after a wash…?!?). The nurse comes in for me to sign a consent for and to confirm the name on the sample… and then she says, “keep it warm” before closing the door behind her. And it hits me that I am sitting there, potentially holding half the DNA of my future child in the palm of my hand. So I tried to keep it warm. And I encouraged them… very quietly…

And now the TWW begins.